Regional development agency Yorkshire Forward is to draw up a combined architectural and economic charter for the area.

It is now working on a model for the principles that underpin this Charter, which it hopes can be used elsewhere in the country.

Alan Simpson, the agency’s head of urban renaissance, aims to apply some of the ideas that were successful in the Renaissance Towns programme to the region as a whole. The renaissance programme was used to regenerate towns such as Skipton and Northallerton.

The approach will be an attempt to address what many have seen as the Achilles’ heel of the government’s regeneration strategy: that it has failed to link architectural blueprints with plans to increase the prosperity of the area.

Simpson has said he wants to involve politicians, businessmen, planners and infrastructure providers to work out design principles in a charter. The idea had some success in the 15 Yorkshire towns used in the renaissance programme.

Now Simpson wants to expand the concept by developing a coherent economic and design feel to the area. It aims to establish a set of design principles that consider a region’s present design patterns, culture and even weather.

He said: “My starting point is that what a place looks like is closely linked to its economic success. If it looks good, it’ll do well. If it doesn’t, it won’t.”

Simpson will spend the next couple of months creating a “regional alliance” of key stakeholders in the region to work out what is required.